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WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics With Frazier Thomas - "The War Of The Worlds" (Opening, 1978)

Here is the opening to the Family Classics With Frazier Thomas presentation of "The War of the Worlds" on WGN Channel 9.

The Family Classics theme song was called "Moviescope" and was a piece of library music composed by Dennis Berry. It was originally released on the Berry/Conroy label.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, November 19th 1978 at 3:30pm!

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This clip aired on Sunday, November 19th 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

I have the RCA SelectaVision CED of this film.
Comment posted by Betamax75 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 9:06am.

Another great find, Fuzzy!
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 9:35am.

Which Chicago station had "The War of the Worlds" prior to WGN? I know that in NYC, the first station to lease it, starting in 1969, was WCBS Channel 2 (as part of Paramount Pictures' "Portfolio II" package); in fact, this film was the first to be aired on WCBS's very short-lived attempt at a horror showcase, "Saturday Shocker," in fall 1972 (apparently as meant to compete with WNEW Channel 5's "Creature Features" which aired at various times of the day on weekends, including Saturday and Sunday afternoons).

I seem to recall around the late 1980's or early '90's, WGN's sister station WPIX Channel 11 ran this flick.

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 1:39pm.

W.B., WBBM Channel 2 had Paramount "Portfolio II" before WGN got the rights to those movie titles.
Comment posted by Phantom on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 3:57pm.

Thought so . . . I seemed to read ads from the 1969-70 period that indicated that CBS O&O's acquired "Portfolio II."
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 6:52pm.

The opening description Fraizer Thomas talked about doesn't mention the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast created by Orson Welles!
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 8:56pm.

Gosh, Anything with Frazier Thomas or Framily Classics is such a rare treat. Thank you for posting..simply awesome! I can almost picture myself sitting on the floor in front of our new 25" RCA ColorTrack Console TV watching this show....one of my favorites to this day. Who didn't want to see the inside of one of those cool space ships.
Comment posted by Siciliano66 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 11:29pm.

Dan - I think this was one of the more scary films that he showed on Family Classics. I wonder if he even considered this one almost crossing the line? People getting vaporized by alien rays definitely freaked me out!

Notice, in a rare variation, he doesn't say, "And now, if you're quite ready..." :-)

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 11:51pm.

You never cease to amaze me with your video finds, Fuzzy.


Comment posted by GHilbrich on Thursday, October 28th 2010 at 7:11pm.

Love hearing the amazing Paul Frees in the opening narration...and of course, WGN clips = superawesome!
Comment posted by DoctorJPW on Friday, October 29th 2010 at 9:00pm.

I grew up with that theme song! Anyone know who composed it and which orchestra played it?
Comment posted by ScarlettOHara on Sunday, October 16th 2011 at 4:31am.

This is interesting, because I have an audio recording of Frazier's introduction of this movie in early 1980, and he recited the same speech almost verbatim--including "And now--if I have prepared you for what you're about to see..." I guess even someone as talented as Frazier Thomas needs to use scripts sometimes!
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 2:58pm.

RLaPorte - Is it possible it is in fact the exact same intro? Maybe they videotaped some and reused them for popular movies?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 3:01pm.

I just listened to the 1980 recording, and, happily, it was definitely a different "performance," with slight changes. Instead of referring to "very expensive trick photography" as Frazier did here, he called it "very clever trick photography" in 1980. Also, here he stated that the film was "released to the movie theaters of the world," but in '80 the phrase "of the world" was omitted. Finally, here he included the phrase "when they attack" toward the end of the speech, but removed it in the '80 performance. Different vocal inflection is used each time as well. In 1980 he was a bit more dramatic, and chuckled a little during the "...if I have prepared you..." line.
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 4:10pm.

The Family Classics opening theme was awesome, and very soothing.
Comment posted by ColVonDouche on Thursday, May 31st 2012 at 7:23pm.

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This clip has been viewed 9373 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, October 25th 2010.
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family classics
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WWJ Channel 4 - "Partial Station Sign-Off" (1978) by AnnArborMI90 on Sunday, October 23rd, 2016 at 9:13am CT

Channel 4 must have switched to using the Moog "Star-Spangled Banner" not long after this. That happens to be my personal favourite rendition of it.

Comment posted in Primetime Live - "Chicago Cubs - Wait 'Till This Year" (1989) by W.B. on Saturday, October 22nd, 2016 at 10:27pm CT

I'm certainly pullin' for the Cubbies to take the Series, for sure. Someone mentioned the Red Sox - one of the Cubs' execs who helped bring the team to their current position, was in charge at the Red Sox when they assembled the players that took home quite a few World Championships over this century.

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by W.B. on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 8:55pm CT

And New York's Channel 7, WABC, also tended to show badly worn color prints of old movies. One screening of "The Best of Everything" [1959] in the mid-'80's on their "Late Movie" (with Alan Parker's "Unlimited Love" as the theme) was especially yellowish.

As for the bad color on this film, one person on YouTube speculated it may've been due to this being an Eastman print, fading over time.

Can anyone say with certainty what kind of color slide WLS used for their 1974 test pattern (inaugurated the year they began transmitting from their circular polarized antenna atop the Sears [now Willis] Tower), based on the 1984 sign-on and the extreme fading and discoloration seen thereon?

And finally, can anyone envision in their head how the "swirling stars" would have fared with Walter Raim's "Big Show" theme as used for years on WABC's "4:30 Movie" and their other movie shows?

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by AnnArborMI90 on Wednesday, October 19th, 2016 at 8:11pm CT

Our channel 7 in Detroit was also known for bad colour quality when they were showing old movies. I have a few movie recordings off of WXYZ from the early 80s, and "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" has particularly bad colour quality.

Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Doctor Who - "The Max Headroom Pirating Incident" (1987) by Smctopia on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 at 8:17pm CT

I don't think this was asked elsewhere but since he first tried to hack in to WGN and the Channel 11 audio makes several WGN references, is it possible "Max" prerecorded this and wasn't broadcasting it live?

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by Smctopia on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 7:40pm CT

The woman in the AARP ad kind of sounds like Shirley Jones.

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Ending of Saturday Night Movie, Reflections and Station Sign-Off (1977) by W.B. on Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 at 8:59pm CT

Would anyone out there know what kind of color system was used on that print of "The Guns of Navarone" for the color to go so bad? I know that the print would've been 16mm . . . and what was it about one of the RCA(?) film chains for the blacks on the circle 7 logo to be dark maroonish and the whites almost beigeish? And people thought that no two color cameras of the same model produced the same pictures?

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 10:11pm CT

Thanks for the compliments and info, everyone. Hopefully we can incorporate the info into the description at some point.

Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - WGN Presents - "The Two Mrs. Carrolls" (Bumper Promo, 1984) by Burr-Rabbitt on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 8:38pm CT

@69TH&STONY, that's what I'm talking about!!! I grew up in the IDA B.WELLS of of 37th st. With what you said to that added breeze that comes from the lake, especially on a warm summer night!!

Comment posted in JFK's First Trip to Chicago - "Lost" 16mm Footage (1961) by Tommy33 on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 3:57pm CT

A little more info on this fascinating piece:
The motorcade is proceeding north on Dearborn in Downtown Chicago and it stops on Michigan Avenue in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel where the CPD scuffle with a Secret Service Agent. You can see the Prudential Building (then the tallest building in the city) in the background. The protesters are demonstrating across the street from the hotel. That evening the President, Mayor Daley and the entourage leave the Conrad Hilton for the banquet at the Original McCormick Place which was totally destroyed by a fire in 1967. This footage is really something. Great find Fuzzy!

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